Wednesday, September 16, 2015

When I'm the King of America

When I'm king, the insipid phrase have a nice day will officially be changed to — have an OK day. Hang in there (no exclamation point please) will also be acceptable, but have an OK day has a certain ring to it. Life is sometimes brutal, sometimes nice, but mostly, it's just SBDD (same bonkercockie, different day). So, Omar, how was your day? Well, some of it was nice, some of it was brutal, mostly it was somewhere in between. It was OK. I didn't win the lottery, but I wasn't tortured and killed. I hung in there.

"Have a nice day!," saith the fast-food worker as she shoves the bag containing my (often jacked up) order in my general direction while not making eye contact because her focus has already shifted to the next customer and she's hoping to get the drive-thru window closed before I ask for salt, a bunch of it. 

I always ask for a bunch, so that if I get lucky, I may get two or even three packets instead of one before she snatches her hand away and the window slides shut. Now, if I'm in a reckless mood, or I'm feeling annoyed because I've tapped on the window and received a what are you still doing here glare before she reluctantly slides the window back open, I may exercise the nuclear option. 

As she reluctantly hands me my salt packets (apparently salt volume is the key determinant of profit or loss in the fast-food industry) I'll call up the warmest smile I can muster and say, "I'm sorry, may I have a few more, please? I define food as a salt delivery mechanism" in a charmingly self-effacing tone. I've even been known to chuckle. From the look on her face, I'd have to say that having to hand me salt (again!) has ruined her perfectly nice day.  

This is the second most effective way I know of to gently remind a fast-food employee associate (though chances are it will, at best, be a subliminal reminder) that there's a customer — the source of all revenue  — right here, right now, and in spite of the odds, seeking satisfaction. 

Sometimes, you have to look for it, you'll get an almost startled reaction. Wow, it's one of those sources of all revenue! I've heard stories, but I never thought I'd actually have to do more than toss the bag at them and chirp, Have a nice day!  

I know, I know, she works hard for the money and is definitely not being overpaid. I have a similar problem. However, no customers = no pay. If you want me to have a nice day, gimmiesumsalt, and don't jack up my order. Say thank you and I'll dance at your wedding (or divorce). 

What's the number one most effective way to gently nudge an FFA onto the same level of reality as oneself? Order a sundae, and ask them to make it with half strawberry and half chocolate syrup. Awkward pause. But...but there's no button for that! Hilarity ensues. You may get to meet the manager on duty.

Now, if I manage to get more than one salt packet, with a minimum of hassle, this will indeed be, at the very least, a nice moment. If I get a thank you (for giving up some of my hard-earned money), I'll know it's a sign from God and buy some scratch-off lottery tickets. Maybe I'll win big and man, wouldn't that be a nice day? 

Alternatively, it could turn ugly and snowball downhill into a brutal day via not enough salt, a jacked-up order, flat soda pop, stale buns, fries that have cooled off and reverted to their natural state (plastic), etc. And, of course, having to deal with me could nudge her day in a brutal direction.

The point is... There's a point? Yes, smartypants, there's a point. Me and Destiny (I feel as if I've come to know her) have fairly limited control over whom or what wanders into our personal reality zones and sparks a nice or brutal moment or day. Also, nice or brutal can easily morph into their opposites. 

If I win big in the lottery it might ultimately result in my degeneration into a perverted libertine and slobbering drug addict, which would be (mostly) a bad thing. If I were to be kidnaped by ISIS operatives and tortured for information because they've mistaken me for the head of the drone pilot training program but I was rescued by Leroy Jethro Gibbs and his team, that would be a nice thing and me and my work might go viral.

However, Destiny and I (who, for the record, is 76, and will be introducing me to her friends and parents when we go mall walking tomorrow), having rejected society's misguided embrace of the elusive and capricious nice day concept, choose to embrace having an OK day, and hope you do as well. 

Brutal days are going to happen to you in spite of lucky charms, prayers, and positive affirmations. Nice days are going to happen to you in spite of curses, your boss, The Fedrl Gummit, or the gummits. As long as you're not dead, no matter what happens it could always be worse, and it might even get better. But there's only so much you can do about it, so why not split the difference and strive for an OK day? OK blunts the brutal and nurtures the nice.

On a personal note, Destiny and I have decided to get married, probably next June. All of my readers are invited but please RSVP and be aware that no one will be admitted without a gift. Hang in there.